This article discusses the relationship between UK film producers and Europe, offering a historical overview and an extended case study of an existing company, Number 9 Films. It argues that although UK film production and the attitude of policy makers have been shaped by American economic interests, Europe represents an important conceptual and cultural space that encourages producers to make films that are distinctively different from the dominant Hollywood model. Drawing on a range of commentators and original interviews, the article argues that in an era of regional porosity and transnationalism, the traditional polarity between European art cinema and commercial Hollywood is being reimagined and the boundaries re-drawn. This has created a shifting ‘middle ground’ that can be occupied by producers who are prepared to seek collaborations and funding from a varied range of sources. The case study of Number 9 Films analyses how these processes work in detail, examining the company’s multiple and cosmopolitan identities and its business model. It concludes by discussing the company’s move into ‘high end’ television drama production arguing that this shift is typical of independent UK film producers, demonstrating the increasing convergence between the two forms and also a further stage in the evolution of European audiovisual production.
Spicer, A. (2019). 'Being European': UK production companies and Europe. Studies in European Cinema, 16(1), 55-72. https://doi.org/10.1080/17411548.2018.1537107